Shop Newsletter - Political comedy and more

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Shop Newsletter
Thursday 7th May 2015

Hello again, and welcome to another instalment of our fortnightly Shop Newsletter, shining a light on some of the best of British comedy available to buy, be it in print, on DVD, CD or, for the best experience, lovely shiny Blu-ray.

With perhaps the closest-fought General Election in living memory currently underway, we thought we'd start by highlighting some of British comedy's contributions to the political world. The below is by no means comprehensive - perhaps you could tweet to us @UKComedyDVDs to recommend other titles?

Political Comedy
A Very Courageous Decision - The Inside Story of Yes Minister (Book)
The behind-the-scenes story of one of the most successful and admired sitcoms of the 1980s. In 1977 the BBC commissioned a new satirical sitcom set in Whitehall. Production of its first series was stalled, however, until after the general election of 1979.
It would, of course, come to be widely recognised as a true comedy classic. Details
The Complete Yes Minister & Yes Prime Minister (DVD)
...And here is the real thing itself. All five series spanning both the original satire on government and civil service operations, Yes Minister, and its sequel, Yes, Prime Minister. The fantastic cast is lead by Paul Eddington (The Good Life), with Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds. The 2013 reimagining of Yes, Prime Minister, broadcast by GOLD and based on a stage play, is also available. Details
A Political Party (DVD)
Featuring a very early role for Oscar winner John Mills alongside Leslie Fuller and Moore Marriott, A Political Party tells the story of a north-country chimney sweep who stands for Parliament and is opposed by a local bigwig. His campaign is imperilled when his artist son, Tony, falls in love with a girl who has reason to hope that the bigwig will be elected. Details
Pride (Blu-ray & DVD)
Although not strictly political in a Westminster sense, 2014 comedy drama film Pride certainly has a political backdrop, set against the midst of the infamous 1984 miners' strike, when a group of gay and lesbian far-left wing activists offer to offer assistance to the families of miners in one Welsh village - going direct after the homophobic union refuses their help. Blu-ray Details & DVD Details
Up The Women - Series 1 & 2 (DVD)
Jessica Hynes's recent sitcom is not returning for any further series, thus this marks a complete DVD release of the BBC Two series. Also not strictly political but set against the backdrop of political protest and change, it follows a small group from Banbury, petitioning for women to be permitted the right to vote. Details
Al Murray: Let's Re-Great Britain (Book)
In Let's re-Great Britain, Al Murray's Pub Landlord sets out his party's vision for the country, and explains how politics actually works. If you're voting in South Thanet this week, we hope you'll have given this little comical volume a read! Details
Ambassadors - Series One (DVD)
This upcoming DVD release contains the three hour-long episodes from the first series of Ambassadors, BBC Two's comedy drama starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Details
Drop The Dead Donkey (DVD)
The landmark 1990s satire from Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton - creators of Channel 4's recent hit Ballot Monkeys, and BBC One's Outnumbered - is available in two box sets spanning its complete six series. Series 1 - 3 and Series 4 - 6. Details
The New Statesman - The Complete Series (DVD)
Starring the late, great Rik Mayall as ruthless MP Alan B'Stard and written by sitcom supremos Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (Birds Of A Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart), The New Statesman is a wonderfully bitter and biting satire on the excesses of 1980s conservatism. Details
The Thick Of It - Complete Collection (DVD)
Spanning 8 discs, this collection comprises all four series of Armando Iannucci's celebrated comedy, taking a large bite out of the world of contemporary 2000s politics, with its spin doctors, PR men and special advisors. Details
No Job For A Lady (DVD)
Running for three series in the early 1990s, this sitcom from Thames Television sees Penelope Keith cast as idealistic Labour MP Jean Price, a newcomer to the House of Commons, who quickly finds that the practice of working in Westminster and dealing with the political system makes it far more tricky to hold onto those beliefs and ideas without a little bit of compromise. Details
New Products
A Bear's Tail - The Complete First Series (DVD)
From the creator and star of Celebrity Juice and The Keith Lemon Sketch Show, Leigh Francis, comes a different breed of sitcom. Packed with special features and spinning off from mid-2000s Channel 4 sketch show Bo' Selecta!, this is the single-series comedy A Bear's Tail. Details
Excuse My Glove (DVD)
This light-hearted story of romantic heroism and sporting glory features British boxing legend Len Harvey as a young man who steps into the limelight by accident... then decides it's worth fighting to stay there! Also starring Cockney comedy star Ronald Shiner and a line-up of the cream of 1930s boxing talent, Excuse My Glove has been crisply retransferred from the original film. Details
Fierce Creatures (Blu-ray & DVD)
John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin and Kevin Kline followed their smash hit A Fish Called Wanda with another delicious farce.
A quaint English zoo director attempts to rid the park of its cute, cuddly animals and display only 'Fierce Creatures'; shortly thereafter the zoo is bought out by a ruthless international conglomerate - with unforseen consequences! Blu-ray Details & DVD Details
Room Service - The Complete Series (DVD)
Set in a top London hotel, Room Service charts the complications and domestic disasters that beset a motley team of room-service waiters - from missing tips to vanishing brides, amorous dog owners to Triads.
Largely forgotten, this late 1970s sitcom was written by Dad's Army co-creator Jimmy Perry. Details
Cutey And The Sofaguard (Audio)
Limited edition mp3 disc re-release of the 2010 audiobook by Chris Wade, including exclusive out-takes.
Rik Mayall reads a twisted, surreal tale of lost love and broken elevators.
The original audiobook is also available as mp3 downloads from Amazon. Details
A Sharp Intake Of Breath - The Complete Series (DVD)
Starring sitcom legends David Jason & Richard Wilson, this sharply scripted series details the many difficulties involved in "Getting Things Done" - as experienced by young married couple Peter and Sheila Barnes.
>From trying to book a holiday to being a best man, life seems to hand Peter Barnes more than his fair share of frustration. All four series are included in this triple-disc set. Details
Inside No. 9 - Series Two (DVD)
Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith follow up the award-winning Series 1 with another anthology of tales of the genuinely unexpected.
Be invited into six very different No. 9s, where the ordinary and mundane rub shoulders with the extraordinary and macabre.
Highly critically acclaimed, don't miss your chance to catch up with this beautifully-shot comedy series. Details
For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.
Coming Soon

Monty Python And The Holy Grail - Steelbook Edition (Blu-ray)
The Monty Python team's highly acclaimed second feature film is now available in a new Steelbook Blu-ray edition, absolutely jam-packed with extras. A Life Of Brian equivalent, also stuffed with special features, is also available. Details

Perfect Understanding (DVD)
Gloria Swanson and Laurence Olivier star in this 1930s comedy drama directed by Cyril Gardner.
Newlyweds Judy and Nicholas Randall (Swanson and Olivier) seem to have the ideal marriage based on perfect understanding and mutual respect. But while away on their honeymoon Nicholas gets drunk and sleeps with his former mistress Stephanie... Details
Not Going Out - Series Seven (DVD)
Written by and starring Lee Mack, Series 7 of this hit sitcom continues to follow the hilariously ill-thought-out plans and mishaps of Lee as he desperately tries to impress long suffering landlady and object of his affection, Lucy (Sally Bretton).
As ever, uber-ditzy friend Daisy (Katy Wix) offers a completely unique take on events and Lee's dad (Bobby Ball) is just a pain in the rear end. Details
Peter Kay's Car Share - Complete Series One (Blu-ray & DVD)
The complete first series of Car Share, BBC One's new sitcom starring Peter Kay and Sian Gibson. Note: Release date yet to be confirmed. Blu-ray Details & DVD Details
The Navy Lark - Collected Series 10 (Audio)
18 episodes from the tenth series of this much-loved BBC radio classic comedy starring Stephen Murray, Leslie Phillips and Jon Pertwee.
Also included is a PDF booklet containing a detailed history of the development of this series of The Navy Lark, cast biographies, and a series episode guide. Details
Shaun The Sheep Movie (Blu-ray & DVD)
Aardman, the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, bring you Shaun The Sheep Movie.
Shaun is a clever, mischievous sheep who lives with his flock on Mossy Bottom Farm, under the nominal supervision of The Farmer. Despite Shaun's best efforts, life on the farm has got into a bit of a rut, and Shaun concocts a cunning plan - to have a day off. Blu-ray Details & DVD Details
The Keith Lemon Sketch Show (DVD)
A fast-paced sketch show in which Keith Lemon affectionately spoofs the world of TV, film and famous faces. Featuring One Direction, Holly Willougby and Kim Kardashian as you've never seen them before.
Guests throughout the series include Paddy McGuinness, Carrie Fisher, Jonathan Ross, Fearne Cotton, Phillip Schofield, Christine Bleakley, Dermot O'Leary and many many more. Details
Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death (DVD)
Ashley Jensen stars in the titular role of this made-for-TV adaptation of the popular M.C. Beaton novel. PR goddess Agatha is caught at the centre of a murder plot when, having newly relocated from city to country, a judge is apparently poisoned by her cooking at the local village fete... Details
For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.
That's all, folks!
That's your lot for another fortnight. There are plenty more releases to be found on our website (including some very exciting titles for later in the year!), with further announced and added each wek.
Until next time,
The British Comedy Guide
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